Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest, Romania

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Annaratone L.,University of Turin | Marchio C.,University of Turin | Russo R.,University of Turin | Ciardo L.,University of Turin | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Primary cultures represent an invaluable tool to set up functional experimental conditions; however, creation of tissue cultures from solid tumors is troublesome and often unproductive. Several features can affect the success rate of primary cultures, including technical issues from pre-analytical procedures employed in surgical theaters and pathology laboratories. We have recently introduced a new method of collection, transfer, and preservation of surgical specimens that requires immediate vacuum sealing of excised specimens at surgical theaters, followed by time-controlled transferring at 4°C to the pathology laboratory. Here we investigate the feasibility and performance of short-term primary cell cultures derived from vacuum packed and cooled (VPAC) preserved tissues. Tissue fragments were sampled from 52 surgical specimens of tumors larger than 2 cm for which surgical and VPAC times (the latter corresponding to cold ischemia time) were recorded. Cell viability was determined by trypan blue dye-exclusion assay and hematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemical stainings were performed to appreciate morphological and immunophenotypical features of cultured cells. Cell viability showed a range of 84-100% in 44 out of 52 (85%) VPAC preserved tissues. Length of both surgical and VPAC times affected cell viability: the critical surgical time was set around 1 hour and 30 minutes, while cells preserved a good viability when kept for about 24 hours of vacuum at 4°C. Cells were maintained in culture for at least three passages. Immunocytochemistry confirmed the phenotype of distinct populations, that is, expression of cytokeratins in epithelioid cells and of vimentin in spindle cells. Our results suggest that VPAC preserved tissues may represent a reliable source for creation of primary cell cultures and that a careful monitoring of surgical and cold ischemia times fosters a good performance of primary tissue cultures. © 2013 Annaratone et al.

Annaratone L.,University of Turin | Volante M.,University of Turin | Asioli S.,University of Turin | Rangel N.,University of Turin | And 2 more authors.
Endocrine Pathology | Year: 2013

The aim of this study was to assess the suitability of using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) to characterize neuroendocrine (NE) tumors of the pancreas. For a series of tumors, we evaluated several genes of interest, and the data were matched with the "classical" immunohistochemical (IHC) features. In 21 cases, we extracted RNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) blocks, and in nine cases, we also extracted RNA from fresh-frozen tissue. The RT-qPCR procedure was performed using two sets of customized arrays. The test using the first set, covering 96 genes of interest, was focused on assessing the feasibility of the procedure, and the results were used to select 18 genes indicative of NE differentiation, clinical behavior, and therapeutic responsiveness for use in the second set of arrays. Threshold cycle (Ct) values were used to calculate the fold-changes in gene expression using the 2-â̂†â̂†Ct method. Statistical procedures were used to analyze the results, which were matched with the IHC and follow-up data. Material from fresh-frozen samples performed better in terms of the level of amplification, but acceptable and concordant results were also obtained from FFPE samples. In addition, high concordance was observed between the mRNA and protein expression levels of somatostatin receptor type 2A (R = 0.52, p = 0.016). Genes associated with NE differentiation, as well as the gastrin-releasing peptide receptor and O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase genes, were underexpressed, whereas angiogenesis-associated markers (CDH13 and SLIT2) were overexpressed in tissues with malignant behavior. The RT-qPCR procedure is practical and feasible in economic terms for the characterization of NE tumors of the pancreas and can complement morphological and IHC-based evaluations. Thus, the results of the RT-qPCR procedure might offer an objective basis for therapeutic choices. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Bussolati G.,University of Turin | Bussolati G.,Institute Victor Babes | Maletta F.,University of Turin | Asioli S.,University of Turin | And 3 more authors.
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology | Year: 2014

Variation in both nuclear shape and size ("pleomorphism"), coupled with changes in chromatin amount and distribution, remains the basic criteria for microscopy in a cytologic diagnosis of cancer. The biological determinants of nuclear shape irregularities are not clarified, so, rather than on the genesis of nuclear irregularities, we here focus our attention on a descriptive analysis of nuclear pleomorphism. We keep in mind that evaluation of nuclear shape as currently practiced in routine preparations is improper because it is indirectly based on the distribution of DNA as revealed by the affinity for basic dyes. Therefore, over the last years we have been using as criteria morphological features of nuclei of thyroid and breast carcinomas as determined by immunofluorescence, in situ hybridization, and 3D reconstruction. We have translated this approach to routine diagnostic pathology on tissue sections by employing immunoperoxidase staining for emerin. Direct detection of nuclear envelope irregularities by tagging nuclear membrane proteins such as lamin B and emerin has resulted in a more objective definition of the shape of the nucleus. In this review we discuss in detail methodological issues as well as diagnostic and prognostic implications provided by decoration/staining of the nuclear envelope in both thyroid and breast cancer, thus demonstrating how much it matters "to be in the right shape" when dealing with pathological diagnosis of cancer. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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